The sanctified month of Ramadan is with us again and there is a way to be a better version of ourselves again! The beginning of Ramadan offers us valuable time for reflection, introspection and resolution. Allah has been gracious enough to provide us yet another chance in our lives to rejuvenate our faith (Imaan), nourish our soul, rekindle our spirit of sacrifice [contribution], reconnect ourselves with the Quran, refresh our humanitarian impulses, revive our relationships, and renew our efforts to reach out to uninitiated with message and essence of Islam. Let us all bow down to Allah in gratitude for this opportunity, but also let us not forget that essence of this thankfulness is fulfilled when we make the best use of this blessed month.
Two gruesome waves of the pandemic have passed, almost all of us have lost at least a person we knew or who was dearer to us. Their passing, more than anything else, reminds us that life is too short. Too short to waste on the base and the inane, too short to deny us the greatness of purpose and achievement that is within us. Living by the ways and means of the past, living by delivering to what we are told and no more would miss the point.
We must strive to achieve that which is within us, that which our imagination can see, that our knowledge tells us can be and that our conviction makes so. We must go after that. Not because the competition does it, or because some goal drives it, but because we believe in it. Because it can be. It must be. Not driven by being the cheapest to do what anyone else can but delivering value that no one else can. Not driven by doing the same mess for less, but by doing more with less for more. Anything less would be denying our rightful potential, our human potential. Anything less would be looking backwards to the past and downwards to the margin floor. Onwards and upwards is our path ahead. This is self-realization.
My dear friends, the journey of self-reformation (Tazkiya) begins with the realization of self. Let us not retire for a single day in this blessed month without ehtisab. Let none of our nights be without qiyamullail. In the solitude of night, contemplate and identify yourselves. Let procrastination never be our companion in this month and ever after. Lay special emphasis on developing qualities of being, merciful, soft-spoken, thoughtful, hopeful, enduring, patient and serene. Remember a mujahid is one who strives his utmost with all the means at his disposal to gain Allah’s pleasure.
While we set out to reform ourselves, let us remember, that a Muslim should strive to attain a strong body, good character, cultured thought, correct belief, and true worship. He should be able to control his inner instincts. He should be careful about his time, organized in his affairs, and willing to offer service and help to others.
The key characteristics required for a societal transformer are desire, drive, discipline and determination. These characteristics are essential traits of “Sabr” [patience]. Remember Sabr is one of the most essential takeaways of this holy month of Ramadan. As honest torchbearers of Tehrik-e-Islami, its important that we develop and cultivate “Sabr” in us. I call upon you all to utilize Ramadan for the same. Also focus on Al-Ikhlaas (Sincerity), Al-Amal(action), Al-Tad-hiyah(sacrifice), Al-Taa’ah(obedience), Al-thabaat (Perseverance), AlTajarrud(resoluteness), Al-ukhuwaah(brotherhood), Al-thiqah(trust).
“Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever he finds it, he is more deserving to it”. What can be a better source than Quran to regain this lost property? We all know, Ramadan is the month of the Quran – the word of Allah, the fountainhead of guidance. The Quran addresses the believer’s consciousness. It is a book that guides, that warns, that imbibes hope, that inspires action, that develops one’s worldview. In this month, let us dedicate ourselves in the quest of this treasure that we are fortunate enough to be blessed with.
“The superiority of learned man over a (mere) worshipper is like the superiority of the moon on a night when it is full over all other stars” (Sunan Abu Da’ud, Sunan Ibn Majah). Practice must define our relationship with Quran. “Obey that which has been sent down to you from your Rabb and do not obey others beside him” (Quran 7:3). Brothers, if we were to explore the past, it teaches us a very grim fact – people before us who had the distinction of being blessed with the word of God, reached an abyss of contempt, were ruined and rendered petty and irrelevant when they abandoned the verses revealed to them. Would we also like to follow the same trajectory?
Remember, the three methods of learning wisdom are reflection, experience and imitation. Of these methods, reflection is the noblest. I call upon you all to resolve to mandatorily engage with Quran and reflect upon its actions. While Jihad is the highest level of our deeds, Ijtehad is the highest form of intellect and thought process.
This Ramadan as we focus on our actions, let us also endeavor towards developing autonomy of thought that is rooted firmly on Islamic principles and worldview. Let us do away with any addictions be it that of social media or anything that hinders our productive and positive engagement. Our journey towards Ahsan levels of Imaan requires exemplary character (actions) together with the clarity of purpose, comprehensive worldview and ability to envision and ideate.
Let us together set out to achieve intelligibility and simplicity in appearance, unambiguous thought and soulfulness. May this Ramadan be the beginning of our humble yet consistent steps towards Ahsan levels of Imaan. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had said “whosoever observes fast, believing and counting, has all his past sins forgiven” (Sahih Bukhari, Muslim). Believing here connotes faith in Allah should remain alive in our consciousness and counting refers to seeking of Allah’s pleasure.
The blessed month of Ramadan is an opportunity to reach out and strengthen our relations with family, relatives, friends, neighbors, the needy and those who are not aware of Islam. Let us be the ones who shall take the first steps in this regard. Even in the face of extreme dislike, hate and animosity let us not shy away from being ever available with humanitarian assistance that is asked of us. Reach out to those who are ignorant of what Islam is, exhibit large-heartedness, be merciful, and demonstrate restraint. Exemplary environmental consciousness and civic understanding shall play a crucial role in our dawah. Eat healthy, improve your productivity, ensure personal hygiene and develop a sustainable routine. Make sure, Zakath, Sadaqa, Infaq from you, your family members, relatives and friends reach the needy.
In this Ramadan, let us exceed the high standards that we have so far held on to. Let us do it purposefully, in moving forward, let us realize what we are actually capable of. Getting an opportunity, letting it go in wane and then whining, is imprudent. Remember this saying of our dear Prophet (SAW) “… cursed is he who is blessed with Ramadan but does not benefit from it”. May Allah guide us to make the best use of this month, accept our prayers, efforts and may He bless us with the honor of being assembled under the shade of arsh on the day of judgement. Aameen. Here is to our actions, our flames of attention, outshining our aspirations and others’ expectations. Let’s do it. Do it together!